The Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee in Vashi said 140 tonne mangoes were shipped from Mumbai on Saturday for the markets in the Middle East, reviving the export of essential commodities through the sea route.
Supply of moong has been disrupted in major suppliers Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, traders said. Also, erratic weather hit output in Rajasthan, the largest producer. “The current availability of moong in Rajasthan has reduced due to a smaller crop.
Prices of potato, dairy items and meat may rise further with cold storages running out of refrigerants. The poultry industry is in distress as they are unable to get feed for birds. Retail chains said customers continued to hoard, leaving very low stocks of staples like atta, poha, rajmaand packaged food like biscuits and instant noodles.
Farmer leaders said the situation is worse than demonetisation, which only delayed payments and did not damage the crop. But now, they said, losses will mount because it is harvest time for grapes, watermelons, bananas, muskmelon, chana, cotton, chillies, turmeric, jeera, coriander, onion and potato.
“ Our extensive interactions with various agri-supply chain players (farmers, agri-mandi dealers, etc.) indicate a limited adverse impact on Rabi crop realisations if the lock-down is lifted by mid-Apr’20, as most crops would trade subsequently and agri supply-chain functioning is ensured and enforced across states,” a research note from JM Financial.
Authorities and traders are working out meticulous plans to streamline flow of vehicles and people engaged in supplying these essential commodities amidst the nationwide lockdown, while crowds are being controlled by allowing entry only to large buyers, traders said.
Traders say the current situation will devastate farmers as their produce will start rotting, while urban consumers will face sky-high prices unless the authorities take urgent steps. Policemen say it is impossible to determine if a person or an empty commercial vehicle is engaged in trade of essential commodities.
To restrict movement of people, the district administration of Pune has ordered the petrol pumps to stop sale of petrol to all vehicles excepting those who are on essential services.
In Mumbai and Pune, traders have issued statements that they will shutter their shops on Wednesday, while Nashik merchants said they would do the same. In Delhi’s Azadpur market, supplies poured in normally, but purchase by retailers was down 60-80%. However, government officials have ruled out closure of grain and vegetable markets.
World over in corona affected countries, some distilleries, including Shane Warne’s have stopped manufacturing liquor and started making hand sanitisers. In Maharashtra too, sugar mills are getting higher demand and higher price for SDS (special denatured spirits) used to make hand sanitisers.
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